The ATA have just announced their plans to stage  ‘A National Fishing Festival’ from 21st July – 31st August.

‘Such a move will only prove to be a tremendous boost to all sectors of the industry’ according to Sean O’Driscoll, the new Chairman of the ATA, ‘the ATA have never been short of ideas and initiatives, relating to angling participation, and  the plan to stage a 6 weeklong festival of fishing, this summer, is our most ambitious ever’.

The ATA only recently announced their intention to move the dates of National Fishing Week from the end of August to the last week in July, quoting the need for first time anglers to be allowed the whole of the summer to finely tune their new found skills. We asked Sean what would be the impact on Fishing Week, with the introduction of Fishing Festival?

‘None’ was his swift reply, he then went on to elaborate, ‘National Fishing Festival will commence with National Fishing Week, and for nine days at the beginning of the school holidays, people will benefit from free taster sessions the length and breadth of the country delivered by licensed coaches. At the same time the new dynamic of ‘Take a Friend Fishing’ will be launched and this will continue to run throughout the school holidays until the 31st August’.

The tireless work of the PAA at Evesham in 2006

The Environment Agency are both financial and grass root supporters of the National Fishing Festival 2007 and their spokesman Richard Wightman had this to say about the announcement, ‘we have worked on many successful participation projects with the ATA and believe that this can be the best ever. The addition of the ‘Take a friend fishing’ campaign will allow all sectors of the industry to get involved, without the restraints that are necessary with National Fishing Week and this will have a dramatic impact on the numbers who can take part’.

The ATA intend to market National Fishing Week, using their conventional methods such as local posters & flyers as well as the Non Angling TV, Radio, Press and their revamped website www.nationalfishingweek.co.uk. Which has always reaped rewards and allowed the Non-Anglers of the country to be encouraged to ‘give angling a go’.

The ‘Take a friend fishing’ Campaign will be marketed far more at the Angling Industry. It will take the form of many different dynamics that are currently being kept from us for later release.
Sean O’Driscoll had this final comment to make, ‘we expect to enlist the help of Sea Anglers, Game Fishermen, Specialist Coarse Anglers, Clubs, Societies, Associations, and Federations to make this first National Fishing Festival a huge success. We have some great promotional ideas along the way, and will share them with you when the time is right. For now it is all about rallying the troops, working with our friends from the different disciplines to bring the Festival to fruition’.

Neil Sellers who has previously managed National Fishing Week and is now responsible for delivering the project let slip that they are expecting over a quarter of a million people to take part over the 6 weeks. He then discussed the retention levels and projected cautiously that with a 25% success rate the industry could benefit from a further 62,500 Anglers. Now that would be something to shout about!!

You can find out more information by contacting Neil on info@nationalfishingweek.co.uk

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